Chaya Wertman
Chaya Wertman
Chaya Wertman

SKA has named the honorees for this year’s graduating class and congratulates them on all of their accomplishments. Mazal tov!

Valedictorian: Chaya Wertman. Chaya Wertman spent the summer after 11th grade as an intern in the Einstein School of Medicine researching autism and longevity. The summer after 10th grade, she took a course at Stony Brook University on manipulating DNA. She was the assistant to the director of SKA’s annual Production, captain of the Science Olympiad Team, editor-in-chief of the literary journal, and SKA biotechnology team project group coordinator. Chaya is a winner of the Tanach Award and the Middot Award for her fine character; she is a school leader who impresses with her modesty and poise. Chaya is a member of the Torah Bowl team, Math team, and Debate team, and is an SKA Admissions Ambassador to incoming freshmen, participates in E2K Math and Science enrichment, is on the Modesty Awareness Committee, and contributes to SKAppenings, SKA’s online publication. She has coordinated a rotating group of her fellow students to visit weekly with developmentally disabled residents of two local group homes. She is an Ohel mentor to a young girl and a weekly shadow for a youngster at Kulanu. A certified lifeguard, she has worked on the waterfront at Camp Kaylie. Chaya will be attending Michlala in Jerusalem next year and then the S. Daniel Abraham Honors program at Stern College. She is interested in pursuing a career in medicine, particularly genetics.

Valedictorian: Rebecca Kellner. Rebecca Kellner was editor-in-chief of the SKA newspaper, The Looking Glass, which won a Columbia Scholastic Press Association Silver Medal. She spent three weeks at the University of Pennsylvania’s Summer Academy in Applied Science and Technology program and participated in Barnard College’s pre-college summer program studying architecture. Rebecca founded a monthly online art journal, The SKA Sketchbook, collaborating with members of the SKA Art Academy. She also initiated a schoolwide Women in Technology club. Rebecca was a head of the first-place national NCSY Jewish Leadership Mentoring Program (JUMP) team. She was chosen to participate in The Jewish Week’s Israel Advocacy Write On for Israel program and has been an active member of NORPAC. Rebecca participated in an NCSY outreach trip in Berlin to engage with unaffiliated Jewish young women there. She is a member of the Science Olympiad team and the SKA Art Academy, as well as the Math team, Model Congress, Debate team, and SKA annual Production. She has volunteered with Kulanu and traveled to Israel with Yad b’Yad, assisting group members who have developmental disabilities. Rebecca will be attending Midreshet Mevaseret Yerushalayim in Jerusalem next year and then pursuing an education in engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

Salutatorian: Raizy Joseph. Raizy Joseph was Production manager, editor of the weekly Parsha Press, and one of the heads of the first-place national JUMP Team. She helped plan, organize, and implement a schoolwide day of learning in memory of the victims of Sandy Hook as well as a day of fun for boys from the local Ohel/Bais Ezra group home. Raizy was very involved in both MACS and BLACout to help develop the spiritual growth of her peers through the promotion of modesty and the Jewish laws of reciting blessings, respectively. She was a Kulanu volunteer for children with special needs and a participant on Yad b’Yad, traveling throughout Israel with adults who have developmental disabilities. She will be attending Sha’alvim in Jerusalem next year and then the S. Daniel Abraham Honors Program at Stern College.

Keter Shem Tov Awardee: Aviva Sadigh. Aviva Sadigh, SKA’s peer-voted Keter Shem Tov awardee, is a two-time winner of the Middot Award for her outstanding character. She was an SKA Production choir head, a contributor to the Yom Tov Press, a tutor to young students, and a member of MACS, a student organization dedicated to promoting modesty awareness. Aviva will be attending Sha’alvim in Jerusalem next year and then Queens College. v


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